Eating Right to Maximize Your Full Athletic Potential

Macro Nutrients:
Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat: percentage of diet from each source for athletes should be at least 50% carbohydrates, 20-30% protein, and at most 25- 35% Fat!

Carbohydrates:
1. Carbohydrates are the major fuel source for most sports excluding distance running/swimming.
2. Carbohydrates stored as glycogen in two tissues; muscle and the liver.
3. Carbohydrate used during exercise from muscle tissue needs to be replenished on a daily basis, and cannot be replenished from Liver glycogen.

4. Not all carbohydrates are the same! Carbohydrates are rated by the glycemic index. The glycemic index rates to what extent the particular carbohydrate effects blood sugar levels in the body. Consuming carbohydrates which have a high glycemic index will have a variety of negative effects.

Consider this chain of events:

When you pick your carbohydrates, you should make an effort to consume those with a lower glycemic index. These carbohydrates are "low density carbohydrates" and are high in fiber. Such carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and beans) are slowly absorbed into the blood stream and insulin levels stay at moderate levels for longer periods of time. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals as well!

Stay away from those with a higher glycemic index ("high density carbohydrates" such as grains, starches, pasta and bagels).

The following chart will help:

Glycemic Index Table: Sorted from High GI Foods to Low GI Foods

146 GLUCOSE TABLETS 79 OATMEAL
131 WHITE RICE 78 POPCORN
129 WHEAT BREAD 78 CORN
128 INSTANT RICE 77 SWEET POTATO
127 RICE CHEX 77 POTATO CHIPS
121 BAKED POTATO 75 KIWIFRUIT
119 CORN FLAKES 74 KIDNEY BEANS
118 CORN CHEX 71 ICECREAM (LOWFAT)
117 MICROWAVE POTATO 69 BAKED BEANS
117 RICE CRISPIES 63 CANNED PEARS
116 PRETZELS 62 GRAPES
108 DONUTS 62 ORANGE
107 PUMPKIN 60 ALL BRAN
107 FRENCH FRIES 59 SPAGHETTI
104 HONEY 55 PINTO BEANS
103 BAGEL 54 TOMATO
101 CARROTS 52 APPLE
99 SHREDDED WHEAT 51 YOGURT
96 GRAPENUTS 46 SKIM MILK
91 RAISINS 41 LENTIL
88 MUFFINS 39 MILK (FULL FAT)
87 ICECREAM 36 BARLEY
87 HAMBURGER BUN 34 PLUM
83 WHITE RICE 27 RICE BRAN
82 PITA BREAD 25 SOYA BEANS
79 BROWN RICE 21 PEANUTS
79 OATMEAL COOKIES 20 YOGURT (LOWFAT)

Protein:
1. Protein is necessary for building muscle tissue and important in the creation of enzymes which allow you body to exercise most efficiently.
2. If you divide your body weight by 1. and eat that many grams of protein a day you will be consuming plenty for muscle building and enzyme turnover. If you eat too much protein your body is able to convert that excess protein to Fat!
3. Your body is only able to digest and absorb about 30-35 grams of protein at one meal, so spread your protein throughout the day and don't consume massive amounts all at once.
4. Protein, although it not considered an energy nutrient can be used as such if you fail to consume adequate calories. Also, any aerobic activities you participate in for over 45 minutes use protein as a major fuel source with up to 15% of the total energy coming from protein stores (Lean Body Mass), so don't take off what you worked so hard to put on; your aerobic workouts should be kept to under 45 minutes to keep this from happening!
5. Proper protein consumption releases a naturally occurring hormone in the body called glucagon. Glucagon's role is to help control insulin levels. This is very important! See the section on carbohydrates (point number 4) for a further explanation.

Fat:
1. Fat is primarily a result of excess of food consumption or improper food consumption (i.e. greater than 25 - 35 % of calories).
2. Moderate fat intake is necessary for proper bodily function, such as the storage of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K.
3. Fat (in the form of essential fatty acids) plays a critical role in the formation of many important hormones.
4. Fat is the primary energy source for distance athletes, however, excess fat intake is not required because of the efficiency at which the body metabolizes fat and because fat has twice as much energy per gram as carbohydrates.
5. Fat does not have a direct effect on insulin or blood sugar levels, but when consumed along with carbohydrates, it tends to slow absorption of carbohydrates which will help keep insulin and blood sugar levels constant.
6. There are three types of fat:

For your body to work at optimal levels, the fats within each cell must not be too viscous nor too fluid (called the "fluidity zone"). For this reason, monosaturated fats should make up the majority of your fat intake. Furthermore, some monosaturated fats like cod liver oil or the fats found in salmon, contain important fatty acids called eicosapentaenioc acid (EPA) which help maintain proper hormonal balance.

Some Tips about Meals, and Eating Before and After Exercise

Five Nutrition Rules That Apply to Everyone
1. Always eat at least 5 meals a day. Two or three meals simply is not often enough. Your blood sugar levels will be controlled, you will get protein in small amounts throughout the day to support growth and recovery, and, most important, the enzymes that store fat will no longer be produced, making you biochemically incapable of storing fat!
2. Remember to balance your caloric intake. In each of your 5 meals, approx. 25 - 35% of the calories should come from fats, 25 - 30 % from protein, and 50% from carbohydrates.
3. When you sit down to eat, ask yourself, "What am I going to be doing with the next three hours of my life?" Then, if you are taking a nap, eat less; if you are planning on a training session, eat more.
4. Another thing to remember whether you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle is to "zig-zag" your caloric intake. For example, if you want to lose fat, reduce your calories during the week, but eat normal on Friday night and Saturday. This will (1) readjust your BMR upwards, (2) support lean tissue building, and (3) give you a psychological "lift". Remember, in rule 1 you learned that your fat storing enzymes were no longer present, so you can eat sweets once in a while. In fact, if you want to put on lean muscle, you must do this!
5. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. This will insure your replacing fluids lost during exercise. You need not wait until you are thirsty.

By then, you are in a depleted state. Drink these glasses of water throughout a days time, not all at once. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase , while an increase in water can reduce fat deposits. Here's why: the kidney's can't function properly without enough water . When they don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result , it metabolizes less fat and more fat is stored in the body. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body more water. Only then will stored water be released.

Will Cutting Calories Result in Fat Loss?
There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. That means that by reducing your food by 500 calories per day, you should lose 1 lb of fat per week, right? Wrong!

Actually, much of the weight you will lose will come from muscle tissue, NOT fat. Why? Because your body tends to use ("excess") muscle tissue for needed energy before it reclaims fat deposits.

The answer is to TAKE YOUR TIME with fat loss, and either preserve or build muscle tissue by integrating scientific weight training, mild aerobics, dietary manipulation, supplementation and other technologies into your lifestyle. Follow the rules above!

NEVER attempt to gain or lose "weight!" Instead, you should always strive to gain muscle and lose fat!

Daily Food Breakdown
Protein Intake:
Take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.9. This will be the number of grams of protein you should be eating daily.
Body weight (lbs) x 0.9 = grams of protein needed daily
Carbohydrate intake: Body weight (lbs) x 2.5 = grams of carbohydrates needed daily.
Fat Intake: 0.25 x body weight (lbs) = grams of fat per day
Total Caloric Content of Daily Food Intake:
Protein Intake Total x 4 calories = total calories
Carbohydrates Intake Total x 4 calories = total calories
Fat Intake Total x 9 calories = total calories
* Add the three summations from each intake category and you will receive your total daily calories.
*This is an estimated daily intake that will promote lean body weight, decrease body fat, and enhance strength and endurance.

Remember, in order to increase your metabolism and reduce body fat, you need to eat more meals and smaller portions. In order to get the most out of each meal, take the total daily intake for protein, carbs, and fat and divide it by the total number of daily meals.

Example: 20-25% Protein = 'x' grams divided by 5 daily meals = protein grams per meal
65% Carbs = 'x' grams divided by 5 meals = carbohydrate grams per meal
10-15% Fat = 'x' grams divided by 5 meals = fat grams per meal
The fat intake is going to be the hardest to regulate, so when you buy food only buy foods low in fat and sodium content.

Stay Away from Fast Food!!! Completely!!!!!!!!!!

Basic Diet for Strength and Body Weight Increases
Breakfast:
-1 or 2 servings of fruits, beans, cottage cheese, yogurt or vegetables
-4-6 egg whites (scrambled or hard boiled)
-multi-vitamin pack

Mid Breakfast:
-2 servings of fruits, beans, cottage cheese, yogurt or vegetables
-1 can of tuna (water packed)

Lunch:
-beans, cottage cheese, yogurt or vegetables
-chicken or tuna
-1 piece of fruit

Mid Lunch:
-beans, cottage cheese, yogurt or vegetables
-1 can tuna

Dinner:
-beans, cottage cheese, yogurt or vegetables
-fish, chicken, lean steak
-1 piece of fruit